10 Ways to Make Your Home Pet Friendly
For many of us, our pets are more than just animals. Furry, finned or feathered, they are valued members of the family. So, it’s worth taking “paws” and investing some time to keep your fur babies and other pets safe and comfortable.
Making just a few pet-friendly home adjustments can please even the most particular pooch or fastidious feline. Here are a few ideas to make your home a pet-friendly paradise.
1. Create a safe space. Give your pets their own personal place with a comfortable bed and toys. Some new homes even have flex spaces that allow for built-in beds and/or washing stations.
2. Invest in pet-friendly furniture. Snow-white or neutral, light-colored furniture are popular options these days, but not the best for playful pets. Reduce stains by going with darker colors that don’t show discoloration. Also, choose durable fabrics such as leather, microfiber and cotton instead of more fragile tweed or velvet. Regular nail clippings can help keep scratch damage down.
3. Choose pet-friendly flooring. If pets are welcome residents in your home, harder flooring provides more benefits. Wood flooring is a good choice; try oak, maple, cherry or mahogany. Tile is virtually scratch proof and provides a cool place for your pet to rest. Or, new wood-look tile provides the best of both worlds.
4. Keep medications and vitamins in a safe place. The last thing you want is for your sweet pup or kitten to get into your meds or vitamins. Many of these pills can have life-threatening consequences for animals. Move your medicines and vitamins to a high shelf or secured cabinet, out of reach of curious animals.
5. Keep harmful foods out of reach. For pets, some foods and beverages can be dangerous, too, according to The Humane Society. Keep grapes, chocolate, candy, nuts and alcohol in a safe, non-accessible place.
6. Use child-proof cabinet latches. Some pets, especially cats, can open cabinets. If you keep your cleaning supplies, pesticides and other hazardous items in a lower cupboard, latch it securely so Bandit can’t get to it.
7. Vacuum often. A vacuum with a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter will be better at picking up pet hair. To cut down on the amount of pet hair and dander around the house, keep your pet well groomed.
8. Pick plants carefully. Certain plants are toxic for dogs, cats and other animals. Common houseplants to avoid for a pet-friendly home are English ivy, lavender, mistletoe, philodendrons and poinsettias. And if your pet does eat part of a poisonous plant, you can call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline and go straight to the vet if needed.
9. Buy trash cans with lids. Trade out your short trash cans for tall ones with lids. Avoid placing smaller trash cans in your pantry, kitchen and bathrooms. When choosing a trash receptacle, be sure to pick one that is both durable and secure. If possible, stash your trash can in a closed-off pantry or behind a kitchen cabinet to prevent your pet from knocking it over and retrieving items that may be harmful to them, such as chicken bones.
10. Install window screens. If you plan on opening windows on nice, spring-like days, keep Fluffy safe by making sure sturdy screens have been securely installed. Cats have been known to fall out of two-story or higher windows when screens are non-existent or flimsy.
Many Trendmaker Homes include pet-friendly features. For example, all Trendmaker homes come with a state-of-the-art fresh air intake systems which improve indoor air quality for those with allergies. Plus, many of our new home locations in the Houston and Austin areas include community dog parks or have dog parks nearby.